‘Significant increase in team expenses cannot be ignored’
WE are pleased to report that 2018 was a good solid financial year for Kerry GAA. While our Senior footballers exited unexpectedly at the new Super 8s stage of the Championship, which has its own financial implications across the board in terms of fundraising ability and sales in our GAA Store in Killarney, other areas performed well contributing to the solid financial returns and continued progress of the board.
On review of the financial statements the results show a retained profit of €539k comprising of an operating profit from day to day activities of €111k, domestic fundraising of €266k and the Five-Year Ticket Scheme of €161k .
To keep Kerry teams successful, huge effort is required from players and management alike which in turn demand more resources resulting in costs to the board reflected in our team expenses especially in the area of player welfare and medical expenses. The results achieved for 2018 would not be possible without the support of our players and management teams who are well aware of the tight financial constraints that we have to operate within.
We would sincerely like to thank our supporters, sponsors and fundraising committees for all their help and support in our fundraising activities during the year.
WITH gate receipts a very important revenue stream for the board, figures this year show an increase of 25% from the previous year with an increase of €90k. The Senior Football Championship increased by €96k as a result of a replay at the semi-final stage and an increase in attendances across the championship along with the national increase to €20 for admission to the county final. The Club championship month of April this year also contributed increases of €35k with the Intermediate final a stand out, while in the Hurling Championship we had a decrease of €38k compared to last year’s figures which included a county final replay and earlier round draws as well. Clashes with national fixtures on TV also added to reduced attendances.
COMMERCIAL Income proved very solid again this year with an increase of €20k mainly arising from additional royalties from the sale of the new Kerry GAA ‘Back to Gold’ jersey. We would like to thank Kerry Group as our major sponsor, and all our competition and associate sponsors for their continued support throughout the year. Sponsorship is crucial in meeting the financial demands and commitments each year. The Kerry GAA Store in the Killarney Outlet Centre again deserves special mention making a profit of €64k. Sincere thanks to Niall O’Callaghan and Noreen Cooper and the staff along with John Joe O’Carroll and John O’Leary who represent us on the Board of the Kerry GAA Store for their outstanding work and making this venture a very important revenue stream for Kerry GAA.
THE Kerry GAA Night of Champions at the Dog Track again proved to be a huge success. The event raised €62k and has now generated more than €520k for Kerry GAA since 2010. We would also like to recognise the efforts and contributions of our Golf Classic Committees in Kerry and Dublin which generated €39k for the board. To all the clubs for taking up the annual church gate collection on behalf of the board, bringing in €15k in 2018. Development fundraising brought in
€126k with a Corporate Dinner in Dublin and a Golf Classic in New York. Unfortunately the Fitzgerald Stadium fundraising is down €38k this year and hopefully this can be restored to previous year’s figures in 2019.
Cairde Chiarraí under the chairmanship of Mike McCarthy again made a welcome contribution of €50k to the board along with €45k from the business people of Tralee through the Austin Stack Park fundraising committee under the chairmanship of Tony O’Keeffe.
COACHING & Games Development continues to provide high quality coaching to our clubs, schools, coaches and IT College Tralee. With eight full-time coaches employed, Donal Daly and his team provide the necessary coaching structures and support systems to ensure all our clubs and schools are provided with the highest coaching standards. The Summer Camps again this year went from strength to strength with over 7,000 participants and provided a welcome boost to the boards finances. With Terence Houlihan as Coaching officer, this is a very active brief within the board which includes all our development squads in hurling and football along with the Summer Camps.
CENTRAL Council team expenses, Provincial Council expenses and other grants along with Other Match Tickets reflects Kerry’s participation in competitions to All-Ireland final stage. With All Ireland successes for our Minor and Junior footballers, along with our U-21 hurlers, we also received extra funding for our Senior footballers involvement in the Super 8s reflected in the increase in special grants. There is a reduction in the field rent in Austin Stack Park with sell out crowds in 2017 in the Allianz League games against Dublin and Mayo. This figure should increase again in 2019 with a return of the same teams under lights in next year’s Allianz League.
TEAM expenses overall return the same as 2017 and will always be a challenge to the board to maintain. However while there were some notable cost reductions in some areas, there were significant increases in the Senior footballers and Senior hurlers which cannot be ignored. This is as a direct result of increased management teams and panel sizes. Central Council Team Expenses grants of €155,210 and Provincial Council team expenses of €57,860 need to be offset against the overall figure leaving a net cost to Kerry GAA of €819K for all our inter-county teams.
Physiotherapy and medical expenses of €168k are down €16k from 2017 and reflect the hard work of all trying to contain it. This is a major expense item to the board and provides a huge challenge in trying to provide best medical cover to our teams at the lowest possible cost.
Player welfare will always be top priority in Kerry GAA but close attention will always have to given to this area due to the amount of activity and costs involved.
EXPENDITURE on the upkeep and maintenance of grounds is up on last year by €16k with Currans Centre of Excellence now up and running. This figure includes all our grounds being Caherslee, Fitzgerald Stadium, Austin Stack Park and the Centre of Excellence. Also included are expenses relating to the pitch at the Tralee Sports Complex.
ADMINISTRATION expenses of €316k show an increase of €25k from our 2017 accounts. The main increase here is in wages and salaries with increased staff costs and also an increase in the depreciation charge along with miscellaneous expenses.
CAPITAL expenditure of €1.292m consists of further works carried out during 2018 on the Centre of Excellence in Currans along with the purchase of a tractor, mower, kit van, etc.
AS stated earlier, 2018 has again been a very solid financial year for Kerry GAA and has us in a very healthy position. However while all observers and commentators will report on the present, it’s important to point out the challenges and commitments that lie ahead. The continued up keep and running of Currans Centre of Excellence will always present its demands along with the development in IT Tralee which is nearing completion. New planning permission has been received during the year for the Score Board end of the Fitzgerald Stadium and works will also need to be complete on the wall at the St Finians side of the ground.
All of these projects will require money away from the day to day running of the board. As a result we have set up a Capital Sinking Fund this year and have put away €100k to start off with out of this year’s finances. Hopefully this policy can be repeated in the years ahead and when capital investment will be required by the board in the future, the funds will be there to meet it and will not require additional borrowing.
With the loss of a Kerry / Cork Munster Senior Football Championship to Killarney over the next few years, we were hopeful that the introduction of the Super 8s home game would fill this revenue void, but unfortunately results dictated otherwise. Hopefully changes to this format being proposed where the provincial winners would have their first game at home will help financially should we win the Munster Final.
Team management and panel sizes will also provide a challenge to the board along with every other County Board in the country. While it’s every County Board’s ambition to prepare their teams to the very best and have some silverware at the end of the year, if trends continue the costs will just become prohibitive or will come at a cost to some other areas of the board.
International fundraising will continue well into 2019 and beyond with the monies generated used to meet the capital repayments of Currans and IT Tralee. Kerry’s success at International fundraising is widely acclaimed both at home and abroad and is a credit to all involved. Now we see other counties following Kerry’s model going abroad doing the same thing, it is expected there will be some impact, so we will need to be proactive, innovative and stay ahead of the game.
THIS year we saw the introduction of Aileen Stack to the committee replacing Maureen O’Shea as Secretary. Aileens professionalism and contribution has been greatly appreciated. The Committee under the Chairmanship of Michal John Kearney met regularly during the year to assess and review the financial performance of the board and provide advice and direction on an ongoing basis.
This year also saw Maurice O’Meara employed as our new Commercial Manager. Based in the Centre of Excellence, this new role was created to bring in new commercial revenues to the board to meet the ongoing capital commitments and revenue costs. We wish Maurice every success in the future.